An H-1B transfer is intended for individuals who want to change from one employer to another. However, you must have active H-1B status first in order to make the switch. If you’ve elected for an H-1B transfer after October 1st, the good news is that your petition with Company A will either have already been approved or denied. The best case scenario is still an approval since that will permit you to transfer to Company B shortly thereafter.
Background: H-1B Transfer After October 1st
If you’re contemplating an H-1B transfer, then you probably already know that an H-1B visa allows employers to hire qualified foreign workers in specialty occupations within the United States for a temporary time period.
In order to file an H-1B transfer, you must be able to provide proof (verifiable) that you were working for you original H-1B employer when the transfer was filed (on October 1st or after). Such verifiable proof may include a letter from Company A indicating that you did start employment on Oct. 1st.
You always run that risk pf the USCIS issuing a Request for Evidence (RFE) for additional documentation like pay stubs, etc. On average, the past two to three pay stubs from Employer A usually are sufficient.
To avert an added challenges, it’s always advised to work with a qualified H-1B transfer lawyer who knows the process and best ways to secure an H-1B transfer after October 1st approval!
If Your H-1B Was Revoked
Was your H-1B status revoked before October 1st or are you under consular process before using the petition to apply for admission into the U.S.? If so, then you would not be considered under the H-1B cap. Let’s use an example to further illustrate this point.
Say, for instance, Company X has an approved petition which is withdrawn (for whatever reason) prior to your new petition with Company Y is approved, then you would not be technically counted under the cap. Subsequently, the new petition would likely receive a denial because it was filed
Subsequently, the new petition would likely receive a denial because it was filed outside the cap window. This example is out of the ordinary which is why you should consult legal counsel if you find yourself facing these circumstances.
Can I “Transfer” Before Oct. 1st?
You cannot technically ‘transfer’ if you haven’t started working for Employer A yet (which happens on Oct. 1st) since you won’t be under H-1B status. Should Employer A not be cap-exempt then Employer B can apply for an H-1B for you and you won’t have to be concerned with the cap since you would have already been counted against it.
What If I Decide Not to Transfer Employers After An Approval?
If you apply for a transfer with a different employer and it is approved but you later decide you do not want to work there, you can stay with your current employer, despite the transfer approval.
H-1B Transfer Fees & Costs
The right immigration attorney on your side makes all the difference when it comes to an H-1B transfer after October 1st or at any point during your stay in the United States. The H-1B transfer fees and costs required by attorneys can vary. We recommend scheduling your initial consultation to get a general cost estimate.
The is no formal limit concerning the number of times you can apply for an H-1B visa transfer. What’s more, there is nothing that’s preventing you from applying for a transfer with multiple employers should you have that desire.
Be aware that there is no “shortcut” or loophole for an abbreviated transfer process. You need to fully complete the documents and establish that you are eligible in the transfer category. Should you fail to do so, you may be denied and face further delays.
Have additional questions related to an H-1B transfer after October 1st or prior? Contact our office to learn more.